In 1991 Ian Baker-Finch claimed The Claret Jug after an incredible, almost perfect weekend of golf.
Royal Birkdale has been a popular Open venue for Australians. Peter Thomson won two of his five Open Championships at Royal Birkdale and then in 1991 Ian Baker-Finch produced some sublime weekend golf to beat fellow Australian Mike Harwood by two-strokes.
Baker-Finch shot rounds of 64 and 66 over the weekend, that included an incredible 29 over the first nine holes at Royal Birkdale on his way to victory on Sunday.
The win was unexpected to many as it came after a spate of tournaments where Baker-Finch couldn’t close out and faded badly during the final round. The Queenslander has finished second or third on the PGA Tour eight times in the past year and only the week before had lost a seven-hole playoff at the New England Open.
Few golf pundits thought Baker-Finch had a major victory in him.
“I must admit that it was difficult visualizing winning, because I had lost so many times,” Baker-Finch told reporters after the round. “But I’ve been thinking maybe I’ve finally paid all my dues. I just came here kind of feeling, ‘Hey, this is the one, boy.’ ”